Everyone knows this famous quote: "IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT"… but I think this is one of the many simplistic quotes that are so fashionable nowadays as a means of rapid, shallow and useless motivation, if it is not really full of substance, commitment and hard work.
To say that you could do everything you could dream, is inherently silly. I can not dream of being Olympic champion in the 100m, or winning Roland Garros tennis match, or discoverer the malaria vaccine. You can only do what we dream within a certain range, according to our abilities, and only if we get a certain procedure because only dreaming we can not achieve our goals … Only what is really pursued is achieved.
I have spent most of my life trying to make some ambitious dreams I’ve had in a given time. I’ve got a few, and many have not been possible. From this experience and the approach that I have to continue making coming true some powerful future dreams, I summarize some key steps that I think can be useful to try to go from our dreams to the reality (First I just put the title, and then I develop each point for those who are willing to read more):
1) SELECT THE RIGHT DREAM
2) CONVERT IT INTO A PROJECT
3) FULL COMMINTMENT
4) INCORPORATE WHAT WE NEED
5) DO THE NECESSARY SACRIFICES
6) DETERMINE THE LIMITS
7) MANAGING LEADERSHIP AND PEOPLE
8) WORK , WORK AND WORK
9) STRONG RESILIENCE
10) FIND THE SOURCE OF ENERGY
1) SELECT THE RIGHT DREAM: We have many dreams in our lifetime, so it will be crucial choosing the one that really matter to us. Choosing one or a few in particular will be a significant opportunity cost . If you spend much time, enthusiasm and energy to a particular dream, it will mean giving up others; therefore making the right choice will be critical.
2) CONVERT IT INTO A PROJECT: The key to progress towards our dream step is start walking in that direction. We have to get out of the conditional and go into action. It will be essential to structure the process, planning methodologies establishing a schedule and determining the objectives to be achieved at each stage. When we stop talking about dream and you start talking about project, things will start to get serious.
3) FULL COMMINTMENT: The more ambitious the project will be, the more engaged we should be. And commitment comes from our ambition and the will to make it happen, the authenticity of our goal, the feeling that our life purpose goes that way, and try to make that dream as a crucial purpose in our live. This commitment must be powerful, sincere and well defined with ourselves. It’s not worth engaging with others, with the environment or the team, if we are not committed with ourselves.
4) INCORPORATE WHAT WE NEED: Determine that we need to walk the path that we have set. Be clear about what we need to incorporate (and incorporate it, of course) in our lives to really fight for our dream: Capabilities , circumstances , relationships, etc…
5) DO THE NECESSARY SACRIFICES: This is more complicated than the above. Adding things in our life is more pleasant, but leaving something behind and get rid of things that were already part of us, it is a price that is very expensive sometimes. But nothing comes free in this life, and achieving important goals for us requires, for sure, doing some important sacrifices.
6) DETERMINE THE LIMITS: Say that there are no limits is another of those superficial and simplistic expressions to tackle any project. There are always objective limits that we need to know, not so much to settle down and thinking as much ambitiously as possible, but to manage them well at critical situations: physical or mental capabilities, techniques, teams, economic issues, etc. There are also limits on the risks of the project, and we have to know them to be clear that we want to take risk threshold to move forward. And finally there are limits on the ethical values that we have to set ourselves. Realizing our dreams at any cost, without respecting any limits, it may be easier, but will also be less valuable.
7) MANAGING LEADERSHIP AND PEOPLE : All projects involve relationships with others: For teamwork, to negotiate, to get support, to prevent people-obstacle, etc. Managing those factors will be essential: Ability to work in teams; to balance our relationship with others; to lead, co-lead or be led in each phase; putting people at the center of the target, not just at their service. Managing personal relationships is one of the most powerful factors, but also one of the most delicates on the road to the realization of our dreams.
8) WORK , WORK AND WORK : This is perhaps the most obvious point, it is clear that nothing is effortlessly achieved. Working hard, persevering, suffering, having a lot of discipline and maintaining this over time will be critical in the executive part of the project to achieve our dream.
9) STRONG RESILIENCE: Learn to manage well the balance between success and failure. Understand that if the project is ambitious and complex, the road will be full of obstacles, frustrations, mistakes and failures; and will be key to our ability to overcome, and learn from each negative experience getting us stronger to face the rest of the project.
10) FIND THE SOURCE OF ENERGY: Perform a dream is not achieved in the overnight. The process will be long, full of difficulties and will be essential to have a source of energy that will always provide us the necessary power to move forward, to work hard, to be permanently engaged, and to overcome obstacles and failures. Everyone has to find their formula for motivation and having enough energy at any time; but in general, being passionate about what we do is the key indicator. We should not think that we will be happy once we reach the goal; we must be happy throughout the process.